Funerals are, by definition, fraught with emotion. It's the last chance to say that big goodbye and it's not unusual for them to be filled with tears.
However, some funerals don't go according to the script and instead, they raise a laugh, not a tear. Here Redditors share their experiences with funny moments at funerals. Enjoy!
(Content edited for clarity).
They Dropped Grandma
“At my sister’s funeral my step-father commented that ‘if she could see herself now, she’d just die’.
Then at my Granny’s funeral, there was a misprint on the flyer thing that said she’d died a year before she actually did. My dad commented that she looked great for having been in an open coffin for so long.
Probably not that funny really, but both times we laughed our behinds off. A little gallows humor can help release some tension.
So, the aforementioned Granny was in a nursing home before she died (she had Alzheimer’s) and me, my dad and his wife were all there when she actually passed away. When the funeral home people loaded her onto the gurney, it didn’t lock, and they dropped her. After all the stress, we just thought it was about the funniest thing. …ya know, my family is a little messed up.”
The Song Brings Smiles
“The love of my life committed suicide almost three years ago. Nick was young, handsome, accomplished, hilarious, and so loved, and his visitation was packed with literally hundreds of people coming to say goodbye.
Before the eulogy began, we all crowded into a too-small room and his twin brother asked for a moment of quiet before he played a song Nick had loved.
I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But from somewhere – at that exact moment of silence – Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘I Like Big Butts’ came blaring through the room. The wave of laughter that rolled through us was exactly what we needed, and we laughed until we sobbed.
Nick had the best sense of humor and always found the absurd hilarious – if he could’ve planned his own funeral, he without a doubt would’ve planned something like this.
He was also never shy about appreciating a nice behind, and since I’m kind of known for mine I’ve got to admit that THAT song playing at that exact moment still feels in the weirdest way like a small wave goodbye from him. We never figured out where that song came from – it didn’t come through the speakers of the funeral home, and no one has ever admitted to playing it as a joke – but I’m so grateful to the universe for giving so many of us a small, happy memory in the midst of so much sadness.”
A Jewish Grandmother Knows What She Wants
“My grandma was my favorite person. She was a firecracker who almost always got her way, and also the type of person who everyone considers family from the moment they meet her.
Literally, every adult I knew called her ‘Ma’ (including the CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in the ’90s, for whom she was the Executive Assistant). She died a slow painful death from pancreatic cancer.
This gave her a lot of time to think about and plan for her funeral, which is not something typical of Jewish services. She made lots of crude jokes about what food to serve during Shiva and what her obituary should say, but one thing she was VERY clear and serious about was wanting everything to be as short and light as possible.
When she passed and we went to the funeral home, we were very clear with what we (she) wanted and needed and the Rabbi agreed to do what we (she) had asked.
However, when we got to the gravesite he went on and on and on and on and on and on (and on and on). There had been a really heavy rain the night before and morning of the funeral, so there was a tent over the area near her grave.
The rain let up just before we got to the grave from the Temple and even though the tent had collapsed in a few parts due to pools of water, it was still standing.
As the Rabbi is yammering away well past his agreed upon time frame, a gust of wind comes out of nowhere and knocks ONE puddle off the tent, the puddle the Rabbi was standing directly under, soaking him and abruptly ending the service.
We all went from crying to hysterically laughing instantly. Say what you want, but from what we could tell there is no reason only THAT puddle was dumped off the tent or that the Rabbi was the only one soaking. We all agree Grandma was there to ensure she got what she wanted.”
They Weren’t There
“I was in the Cub Scouts and we were part of a parade and service to honor the veterans from our area who gave their lives in the two world wars. It was a very somber affair that ended with a roll call, where the oldest surviving veteran in town read off the names of each of the veterans who died. There was a long silence after each name was read, symbolic of the fact that they were no longer with us.
I was behaving myself, but the kid beside me kept whispering ‘not here’ after every name. I thought it was funny, but I was keeping my composure…right up until the reader called out the exact same name that I have.
After the silence, he continued to read off names. The kid beside me leaned over and said ‘So far you’re the only one who bothered to show up’.
And I completely lost it.
My Dad was at the service and when it was over he rounded me up and started yelling at me. When I told him what happened he kind of paused and said ‘Okay…that’s actually pretty funny’.
I still got grounded, though.”
Some Families Are Just Odd
“Before my great uncle died, he and grandma talked about his funeral (he was very ill) and he said to put his ashes in that – pointing at a shoebox – then dump him in the park.
So we did, but being the jerks we are (we all have a dark sense of humour), on this windy day we joked about how we hoped there wasn’t a birthday party downwind (we passed one going to the chosen spot) and if there was, does it count as being born again if the kids accidentally ate ash covered cake and so on.
We even took it to the point of ‘oh no little Jimmy, don’t eat your powdered uncle’ jokes. He would have found it hilarious.
Then when my grandpa was ill, all he wanted were Taco Bell crunch wraps. My husband and I would smuggle them to him when we were back home visiting.
When he died, I made my dad take me to Taco Bell before the funeral and we got him a crunch wrap. It was buried with his ashes – there was no way to fit it in the ammo can that his ashes were in, so here is the entire family putting heartfelt letters and little mementos in the hole on top of the ammo box, and then me putting a freaking Taco Bell crunch wrap, complete in bag with napkins and sauce packets on top – then taking a photo to prove to hubs as he couldn’t make it due to work. We all still laugh about the smuggled Taco Bell. Taking the photo got the most laughs – had to prove he got that last crunch wrap…”
The Eastern Order Fails To Keep Order
“My grandmother’s funeral was the biggest disaster show that I have ever witnessed and will go down as the best/worst funeral I have ever been to. The funeral was set in Bethlehem, PA and if you’ve ever lived/visited there it’s just now getting better but the area we were at was severely depressed. Think Cleveland level.
My grandmother was part of the Order of The Eastern Star which is the women’s version of the Freemasons (this part is important later).
The funeral home was a bit small but spacious enough to fit about 10 people. As part of the ceremony/memorial service, the Grand Master of the Free Masons, 6 women from the Eastern Star, the priest, and my two aunts were to be running the ceremony.
My aunt D, my mom’s younger sis, was to sing a song that she sang at my grandfather’s funeral and the eulogy was to be delivered by my Aunt S. Aunt S is married into our family and my mom and she had never gotten along. This also comes up later.
The majority of the women of the Eastern Star, the priest, and the Grand Master are all very overweight. When the priest walked in, he’s so fat that instead of performing the entire memorial service standing up, he grabs a folding chair from the front and bends the microphone on the podium down so he can perform the entire service… sitting down.
Then comes the 6 women from the Eastern Star. They each have flowers to represent something. So each one goes to the podium to give their speech, then pin their flower to the bouquet.
My grandmother’s casket was open on a stand next to the podium, in which the rotund priest is sitting between. One of the thinner Eastern Star ladies manages to squeeze between the podium, casket, and fat priest. The next lady up decides that she too will follow suit of the thinner one.
The casket starts wobbling as this big woman is trying to squeeze on through. The casket almost topples over before the funeral director dashes across the room to secure the casket so my grandmother’s corpse doesn’t fall out. There’s a very stern warning from the funeral director to the ladies so all people must go around the casket, the rotund priest and the podium rather than behind or in between the gaps. At this point, I’m trying hard not to plaster a huge grin on my face. My fiancée notices and nudges me with her elbow.
Then the Grand Master gets up to do his ‘reading’. I guess when you’re Grand Master of the Free Masons, reading or making speeches isn’t part of the job because he butchered it. The ladies of the Eastern Star had to correct him on his pronunciation every other word. Then he stopped midway because he lost his place and had to restart the entire speech again, also butchering it. I have no clue what the speech was about because I was too enamored by his inability to read.
After the speech of the Grand Master, Aunt D came up to do her song but she’s understandably upset so one of the women from the Eastern Star says she can help her out.
So they start singing together as my Aunt D struggles through the first verse. By the time the second verse comes, my aunt has regained her composure and starts singing more loudly. Thinking that this is how the song goes, the Eastern Star woman also begins to sing louder.
All of a sudden we are now witnesses to a sing-off, where singing loudly with flourish (while completely off key) is the key to victory.
Eventually, my Aunt D is not to be upstaged so she stands in front of the other woman as she concludes the song, dropping down to her knees like James Brown. I had to excuse myself at this point because I couldn’t contain my laughter. I was able to compose myself after thirty seconds or so and came back in.
My Aunt S stands up to deliver her eulogy, except this eulogy had nothing to do with my dead grandmother, but how my Aunt S helped keep her alive through her cooking and chocolate chip cookies.
Nothing about my grandmother, who she was, or her life. My mom was livid. I’ve never seen my dad ever have to hold my mom into her seat as she’s whispering loudly to my Aunt S what a horrible woman she is.
This just riles up Aunt S and she starts making snarky comments to my mom without directly attacking her. My mom walks out of the service. While we’re all stunned by what just happened, my cousin behind me starts snoring loudly while another cousin leans over to me and asks when happy hour is.
By this point, I’m shaking and beat red from holding in my laughter. The priest says his final words and I was told to carry my grandmother’s casket to the hearse.
Nobody told me prior to this but it certainly knocked the grin off my face. Remember the cousin that was snoring loudly? Yeah, dude is very overweight to the point where the fire department, the place where he works, put him on medical leave because he kept passing out during fire emergencies from his blood pressure.
So here’s me, my oldest brother, my two cousins including my chubby cousin, and two funeral directors trying to squeeze a casket through double doors that are barely wide enough to fit three people standing side by side. We almost dropped the casket because three of us couldn’t handle the load.
We get the thing loaded and head on over to the actual burial grounds. Everything is ok and the priest brought his folding chair to do the service yet again from his chair. We lowered the casket and threw in plastic flowers. Yep, let’s not give a care about the environment and just toss in plastic flowers because my aunts were too cheap to buy real ones.
We head over to the Free Mason Lodge for some food. My Aunt D sets out two cakes. One is chocolate because my grandmother loved chocolate. The other is vanilla because Aunt D is allergic to chocolate. These cakes aren’t small. They’re huge.
So I sit down with my parents, my fiancée, my brother and his fiancée and we’re just shooting the fat when in walks the priest doing his thing. From the metal folding chair, he does a prayer. My Aunt D declares that lunch is served.
Never in my life have I seen a man as big as that priest move so quickly to move to the head of the line for food. I guess he was conserving his energy for the food later to come? Who knows but I couldn’t help but make this observation out loud to my parents and fiancée. My mom finally cracked and let out her cackle of a laugh. She hugged me after she finally regained her breath and told me she needed that.
There were more shenanigans that day but that was by far the funniest funeral I ever went to.”
The Deceased Made The Jokes
“It was a funny service for a guy known for making people laugh. When the guy learned he was terminal (brain cancer), he had written letters for his brothers, best friend, and wife to read at the service. I don’t remember it word for word, but the first line of the best friend’s letter was something like ‘If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. Downer. I bet [wife’s name] did it.’ One of his brothers was in seminary school to be a preacher and hidden a few paragraphs into his note was ‘Hairy schlongs. Ha! You have to say that because it’s in a dead guy’s note. It’s the law, look it up.’
There were lots of stories, jokes, and celebration of the dude’s life. And, at his request, there was an open bar (the service, obviously, was not religious in nature). Two people got into a fight in the parking lot after the service.
His executor then told everyone that his wishes were that the first two people to fight at the service were to receive medals he had custom-made. The medals were inscribed with something like ‘I was a jerk at [Guy’s name]’s funeral 2009.'”
The Priest Popping Out Of The Pants
“My grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 85 years old and chose not to treat. Watching him succumb to that disease was extremely difficult. He spent his last 2 weeks in bed with the family providing 24/7 palliative care.
At the funeral, we were all still pretty emotionally raw and truthfully exhausted. Papa’s favorite preacher, an ancient man, comes up to say a few words. As we bow our heads to pray, I heard a commotion of some sort and the old man struggling a bit. But, it settled and we finished the prayer and opened our eyes.
The music, as they carried the casket out, skipped as it was on CD, so we said ‘Papa thought it was getting too serious’ because my family is always cutting up and laughing- we’re not serious people. Afterward, in the car with my parents and my husband, I asked ‘What was all that commotion during the prayer?’
My dad said ‘You didn’t see that? The old man lost his pants!’ The preacher’s pants completely hit the ground and the commotion was him trying to get them back up! We all were silent for a moment and then we all busted out laughing.
We laughed and cried and laughed some more. We’re not a serious family and I will swear to this day my Papa made sure our final memories of him, even after all the sadness, was the purity of laughter and a good prank.”
“Kathy, a friend of both me and my wife, got married after a TEN-year engagement. She died 3 weeks later in a car wreck. We had the wedding and the funeral in the same month in the same church.
Anyway, during the wake, my wife is sitting in a chair and I am rubbing her shoulders. People are coming up and apologizing to my wife, who many knew was her best friend. But one woman starts coming up to me and apologizing profusely. I say thank you, but then she starts to go on about how it was such a shame my bride died so young.
I froze. She had mistaken me for the husband. As she is apologizing, her eyes kept shifting between my eyes and my hands on another woman’s shoulders. She had a kinda-sorta disgusted look on her face. She must have thought I was being horribly disrespectful.
I should have corrected her. But I just kept thanking her for the condolences. My wife had tensed, silent, also realizing what happened.
When the woman stepped away, I had to step outside and I just burst out laughing/crying at the absurdity of the situation. At least no one saw that.”
He Had His Tongue On The Pulse
“About ten years ago, I was at my wife’s Grandmother’s funeral. A small rural farming town, the funeral was in the quintessential small-town funeral home and presided over by the preacher in a tiny Baptist church. Mullets abounded.
Anyhow, during the ‘sermon’ that we were all sitting through, this preacher was gearing up toward an altar call. In building momentum, he was describing her life, and when he got to the point of her death, he described it thusly:
‘…when her pulse pulsed its last pulse…’
I have no memory of what was said directly before or after. But I looked at my wife, she looked at me, and we glanced around at the rest of her family, who were all trying to keep the laughing at bay.
For the rest of this service, we did all we could not to laugh, and only had moderate success. We got strange looks from the locals wondering who these rubes were laughing at a funeral of all places.
My wife and I still bring it up from time to time. I never thought I’d hear the word ‘pulse’ used for so many different parts of speech in a single sentence.”
The Dolphins Came To The Funeral
“When I was 1 week shy of my 21st birthday I got a phone call saying one of my best friends from middle/high school had been killed in a car accident in California.
She was from Southern California and had moved to Vegas in middle school, then moved back before our junior year. Because of that, she had a lot of Vegas friends and Cali friends.
I and 3 friends drove to Cali for her funeral. It was well known how much this girl loved pink. Pink everything. She would always tell us that we had to wear pink to her funeral. Everyone did. Pink and black. Even the pastor wore a pink tie. So that was our first chuckle.
Afterward, all the ‘kids’ went to a bar on the beach to remember her. I was the only one not 21 yet. So I had to sneak in the back. Second laugh.
Then we went to ‘her’ beach for a bonfire, she loved the beach. If you didn’t know where to find her, you could find her at this beach. We all brought markers and wrote little messages for her on a huge rock by the ocean. They’ve probably been washed away by now. We all sat around this fire telling stories and sharing more laughs and a lot of tears.
Somebody swore they saw a dolphin out in the water. Dolphins were her favorite animals. That was one of the saddest and best vacations I’ve ever had. Rest In Peace Jenny.”
The Song Is Never The Same
“I was raised Orthodox, and back in my home country funerals are the best opportunity for babushkas to show off how religious they are and how they know all the traditions.
That being said, at my dad’s funeral there was one neighbor babushka who was trying to prove how pious she was by singing the bible verses extremely out of tune and louder than the priest.
She legit sounded like a chihuahua. Both my mom (the widow) and I were in tears because of her and, while I usually manage to keep an okay poker face, my mom just lost it. I had to sort of hug her and pretend to cover her crying to make people think she was sad in order for us to not look like total psychos.
Another story was at a great-uncle’s funeral when I was 14 and my little cousin (12 or so at the time) started laughing hysterically because the dead uncle had cotton wadding in his nose. At that same funeral, my phone started ringing with My Chemical Romance in the vigil chapel, and I think most people in the room understood what ‘mama, we all go to Hell’ meant.”